Jun 14, 2018 9:00 AM

ASCO annual meeting logo

“Delivering Discoveries: Expanding the Reach of Precision Medicine,” was the theme of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2018 annual meeting held June 1-5, 2018 in Chicago. One of the largest scientific conferences in the world, the meeting brings together nearly 40,000 attendees and features thousands of studies about new ways to prevent, detect, and treat cancer.

Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) faculty and staff presented the latest cancer research findings from HCI at the meeting.

“Each year, I look forward to this meeting as we convene oncology professionals from around the world,” said John Sweetenham, MD, senior director of clinical affairs and executive medical director of HCI. “Our main goal as oncologists is to improve the lives of those affected by cancer, and this meeting gives insight into new and innovative ways we can ease the cancer burden for our patients.”

During the meeting, Sweetenham was inducted as a Fellow of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (FASCO). This distinction recognizes ASCO members for their extraordinary volunteer service dedication and commitment to ASCO.

Neeraj Agarwal, MD, associate professor at the University of Utah School of Medicine and director of the Genitourinary Oncology Program at HCI, spoke on how to integrate immunotherapy into clinical practices, as advances in cancer immunotherapy research and treatment continually increase each year. He also chaired a panel describing treatment for metastatic prostate cancer.

HCI’s Neeraj Agarwal, MD, chaired and spoke at an ASCO session on treatment of advanced prostate cancer. His lecture was attended by more than 5,000 people.

Other HCI speakers included Howard Colman, MD , who presented on opportunities for precision medicine in brain tumors, and Kathi Mooney, PhD, who spoke about research relating to technology and caregivers. 

Sweetenham recorded a podcast for the ASCO Daily News discussing key takeaways of the 2018 meeting. The biggest headline this year was the release of a study showing most women with the most common form of early-stage breast cancer can safely skip chemotherapy without hurting their chances of beating the disease. The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, involved 10,000 women, the largest breast cancer treatment study ever done.

Next year’s ASCO meeting will be held in Chicago May 31–June 4.

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